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New “Avengers”. Not “New Avengers”

It’s been a long time coming.

Few things in comics are certain. But one to stand by is “no one stays dead forever”.

And that counts doubly for good team books.

I can say that the Avengers hit some skids. The stagnation level was at an all time high as far as I’m concerned through much of the first part of this decade. Even the good creative teams were muddled by continuity, convoluted character development, and no guiding focus. The Avengers were everything that comics had moved away from – bloated, stiff, and always one page flip from being skipped. I don’t think I bought an issue of Avengers from 1995 until 2003. And when I did I was disappointed.

But then Brian Bendis came in, cleaned house, and BOOM, the Avengers, Marvel’s mainstay, was cancelled at issue #503. To be replaced by an all new, exciting enterprise that became the flagship book for Marvel for the next 5 years. New Avengers did away with the old rules and made their own. And now…

I don’t want to gush about these books too much. New Avengers had it’s flaws, but overall it was a great ride. With the reset to AVENGERS #1, I was nervous. I don’t really want to see Hank Pym and Cap and… etc… through regurgitated Kang adventures over and over.

But here it is, issue #1, and who’s that? KANG. But man, he looks good. John Romita Jr.’s Kang is killer. The grit in his lines gives Kang character that I’ve never really taken, and at the least the best interpretation since John Buscema. And there’s a newness to the book that feels nice. I have high hopes, so here’s to a nice start – a rather quick first issue but I prefer that to one that reminds me why I gave up on the series in the first place. If Marvel can avoid the annual company wide crossover that dominated a little under half of the New Avengers series, then this incarnation of the Avengers could be the best one yet.

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